From the moment Chuck Fletcher took over as general manager for the ousted Ron Hextall – even earlier for some – fans clamored for a new netminder. Alex Lyon and Anthony Stolarz were likely AHL-level talent, with the latter potentially capable of stepping into the role of a backup at the NHL level. Brian Elliott was good, but coming off a core muscle injury in 2017-18, he’d become a bit of an injury concern. Michael Neuvirth was a mediocre goalie who could put up a gem from time-to-time, but was an average at best goaltender in the NHL. Cal Pickard? No thanks.

With the NHL’s roster freeze set to thaw out as of 12:00 AM December 28th, it’s entirely conceivable that the Flyers, led by Fletcher, could announce a deal to provide some cover for 20-year-old prodigy Carter Hart. I believe if Fletcher had his druthers, he’d send Hart back down to the Phantoms ASAP, not because Hart’s a bad player, but because he’s gained some useful experience and could build on it at the speed of the AHL game.

The Flyers have been rumored to have interest in three goalies in particular over the past few weeks: Craig Anderson (Ottawa Senators), Corey Crawford (Chicago Blackhawks), and Jonathan Quick (Los Angeles Kings). Unfortunately for the Flyers, the former two have suffered concussions with the Anderson likely to return to the ice sooner even though his injury was sustained more recently (December 21st vs. New Jersey) than Crawford’s (December 16th vs. San Jose). The most recent trade buzz picked up via Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos’ assertion that the Flyers have spoken with the LA Kings regarding Jonathan Quick.

Let’s take a look at how they stack up comparatively, keeping in mind that Anderson’s numbers reflect 31 games played and 30 games started, while Crawford and Quicks’ represent a data set of 23/23 and 14/14 respectively:

Each player’s save percentage is virtually identical at just at or slightly over 90%, while their goals against average hover in the mid-to-low threes. Their Goals Saved Above Average numbers are troubling in the case of Crawford and Quick compared to last year’s numbers (+13.9 & +16.86 respectively), but a real gain in Anderson’s case (-24.83 in 2017-18). Each goalie’s quality starts percentage is decent, though Crawford trails by a bit. Real Bad Starts is a funny stat, but what’s not funny is the 16.7-21.4% of games these guys have put up.

The next consideration – possibly even more important – is the remaining salary on each player’s contract as well as their age:

  • Craig Anderson, 37: 2018-19 – $4.75m, 2019-20 – $4.75m, 2020-21 – UFA
  • Corey Crawford, 33: 2018-19 – $6m, 2019-20 – $6m, 2020-21 – UFA
  • Jonathan Quick, 32: 2018-19 – $5.8m, 2019-20 – $5.8m, 2020-21 – $5.8m, 2021-22 – $5.8m, 2022-23 – $5.8m, 2023-24 – UFA

In terms of compensation on the Flyers’ side of things? There’s really no consensus. Quick is probably the best of the three, but he’s had hip issues and a $5.8m cap hit for four more seasons after this one could be brutal. If the Flyers believe Carter Hart could be ready to assume the role of starter in the next year or two, there could be a market for Quick if he were to stay healthy and prove effective. If not, he’d be an expensive backup for a couple of years. Corey Crawford would be an attractive option due to his consistently stellar play on a Stanley Cup winner over the past eight seasons specifically. He might cost you a pick or two and a decent roster player, but I can’t imagine Chicago requiring someone like Shayne Gostisbehere. Craig Anderson isn’t my cup of tea as a full-time starter. If the Flyers are looking for someone to split time with Hart, he’d be a much more attractive option.

The roster freeze ends in a few hours. Let’s see if Chuck Fletcher is ready to play.

For more Flyers coverage, be sure to check out our pregame and intermission shows before and during home games via Facebook Live on the Crossing Broad Facebook page and Periscope via Anthony’s Twitter account. Also, listen to our Flyers podcast Snow the Goalie ([iTunes] [Google Play] [Stitcher] [RSS]), leave a 5 star review, and follow us on Twitter:@AntSanPhilly @JoyOnBroad